Prince Andrew has failed in his last-ditch effort to have the civil case alleging he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was 17 thrown out, meaning that the British royal will face the civil case in a U.S. court.
“Plaintiff Virginia Roberts Giuffre brings this action against Defendant Prince Andrew, Duke of York, for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In short, she alleges that the late Jeffrey Epstein and others trafficked her to Prince Andrew who took advantage of the situation by sexually abusing her when she was under the age of eighteen,” Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York explained in a 46-page decision.
Prince Andrew’s legal team had argued that the previously secret 2009 agreement between his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, formerly Virginia Roberts, and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein would release the British royal from liability, even though the now-unveiled documents make no mention of Andrew by name.
“The settlement signed by Prince Andrew’s accuser that the Duke hopes will lead to the dismissal of her sex assault lawsuit against him was unsealed today,” the Daily Mail reported. “Signed in 2009, Virginia Giuffre agreed to be paid $500,000 by Jeffrey Epstein to resolve the sex abuse case against him.”
As the Mail explained, while the document makes no mention of Andrew by name, it does stipulate “other potential defendants” included in the agreement, with Prince Andrew then relying on being included in the vague category defined by “other potential defendants.”
According to that agreement: “Hereby release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge the said Second Parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant (‘Other Potential Defendants’) from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts.”
“The fact that defendant has brought the matter before the Court on a motion to dismiss the complaint as legally insufficient is of central importance. As is well known to lawyers but perhaps not known to the lay public, the defendant — by making this motion — placed upon the Court the unyielding duty to assume — for the purposes of the motion only — the truth of all of the plaintiff’s allegations and to draw in plaintiff’s favor all inferences that reasonably may be drawn from these allegations,” Judge Kaplan wrote. “In consequence, the law prohibits the Court from considering at this stage of the proceedings defendant’s efforts to cast doubt on the truth of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations, even though his efforts would be permissible at trial.”
“In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the Court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms. Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant,” Kaplan continued.
“For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects,” Kaplan concluded. “Given the Court’s limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering the 2009 agreement.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.